- Associated Press - Monday, August 31, 2020

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Voters with print disabilities who are legally allowed to vote by absentee ballot can now use their own computers to mark their choices on an electronically delivered absentee ballot, the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office said Monday.

The ballot would be emailed to the voter’s city or town clerk and would be hand-counted on election day. The voter’s choices would not be transmitted over the internet, the office said in a news release. A typed name will be considered a valid signature for voters with print disabilities, the office said.

The option is available for voters with a print disability in the upcoming state primary on Tuesday, Sept. 8. Applications are available on the Secretary of State’s website.

New Hampshire traditionally has high voter turnout. More voters are expected to vote absentee this year, citing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Other coronavirus developments in New Hampshire:



PERFORMANCE LOSSES

It’s an uncertain future for the entertainment industry in New Hampshire, as representatives of venues big and small spoke Monday of lost revenue, operating at reduced capacity, and trying to keep their employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ethan Paulini, producing artistic director from the Weathervane Theatre in Whitefield, said while his organization did receive some aid, that amount was less than half of what was lost.

He said the theater had virtual and outdoor performances this summer. It started inviting small, socially distanced audiences indoors in the second week of August, about 12 people in a 266-seat venue. It plans to expand to about 60 seats this fall.

“Next year, a lot of our subscribers are people who have already purchased tickets, they turn those into vouchers that they can use in future seasons, which is great, but that’s no income coming in next year,” he said at a meeting of organizations and performers in Concord with U.S. Jeanne Shaheen. “That’s the scary thing. We know we’re going to retain them. We know that when we get to the other side of this, they’ll come through the doors again, but it’s going to be a while before we can actually generate income from them.”

Shaheen discussed legislation such as a bill that would authorize the Small Business Association to provide grants for businesses, including independent and live performance venues to help offset lost revenues.

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STUDENT TEST-SCHOOL

School is continuing as scheduled in a New Hampshire school district after one student tested positive for COVID-19, triggering a contact tracing effort and cleaning at the school.

WMUR-TV reports the Riddle Brook School student in Bedford who tested positive is suspected to have contracted the virus at a sports camp in another town. The student had been in the building on Friday. Half of the class was at the school, which is on a hybrid learning system.

The test for the student, who was asymptomatic, came back positive on Saturday. Families were notified Sunday with an email and voicemail.

“We worked with the school principal, the teacher and DHHS worked with the family to be able to determine who, if anyone, would have been within 6 feet for a cumulative time of 10 minutes within a 4-hour period,” Bedford School Superintendent Mike Fournier said.

None of the students at Riddle Brook met that criteria. Administrators believe protocols in place such as masks, distancing and reduced class sizes prevented further transmission.

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THE NUMBERS

As of Monday, 7,275 people had tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, an increase of 22 from the previous day. The number of deaths remained at 432. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire decreased over the past two weeks, going from 22 new cases per day on Aug. 16 to 21 new cases per day on Aug. 30.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia or death.

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